Netball regional league begins tonight

THE Sale Netball Association under 17 team will play North Gippsland in the first round of the Eastern Regional State League tonight in Churchill.

Five open teams and six under 17 teams from across Gippsland will go head-to-head in the competition, run by Netball Victoria which aims to showcase the talented athletes in regional centres and provide access to a high performance pathway for athletes, coaches, umpires and officials.

The competition begins tonight and runs until March 28 with all matches to be played on Friday night at Churchill.

Sale, last year’s under 17 grand finalist, will play North Gippsland from 8.30pm.

Defending champion Alberton will play Gippsland from 7.15pm, while East Gippsland will play Mid Gippsland from 7.15pm.

Alberton also won open division last year and will begin its premiership defence against North Gippsland from 8.30pm. Mid Gippsland White will meet Morwell Indoor from 7.15pm, while Mid Gippsland Green will have the bye.

Regional State League competition co-ordinator Alex Poulton said the level of competition in the region had improved significantly since the inception of the program.

“The Eastern Regional State League competition is a fantastic way for athletes, coaches and officials to draw on the elite structures of the Netball Victoria pathway in a locally based competition,” she said.

“Netball Victoria recognised the changing demands on our players, coaches, officials and administrators – school, university, work and other netball commitments – and this competition provides that balance to develop pathways for netball participants across Victoria regardless of where they live. Players are provided with an opportunity to play with and against the best talent from their region without the barriers of traveling to Melbourne.

“Not only do athletes enjoy playing against the best in their region, coaches are also offered the opportunity to be mentored by high performance coaches throughout the season providing invaluable advice and support, whilst C badged umpires receive mentoring and coaching throughout the season to work towards achieving a B badge accreditation.”